Introduction to New Literacies

The Maine Department of Education provides these learning experiences at no cost. We encourage the use of learning journals or notebooks, analog or digital, to record responses to prompts and suggested activities. The form and format of your journal may take various forms and could include analog, digital, or any other form that is comfortable to you.

What's so new about literacy? 

Historically, to be literate meant being able to read and write. In the modern era, especially in the post-COVID work and school environment, one who is functionally literate must do much more. In 2019, Bowdoin College published a list of job competencies and descriptions to help students identify skills they might need to develop to help them select campus jobs which would match their goals.

Review the following image and determine whether you can demonstrate each of the competencies listed. Note in your journal those that are strong and those that need some work. 


bubbles with list of competencies


What do the competencies have to do with new literacies? New literacies encompass ways of thinking about information and experiences, processing with others to challenge and continuously update thinking, and demonstrating new ideas, solutions, and understandings in the manner that best suits the situation.  Watch this brief introduction to new literacies.

Maine DOE Introduction to New Literacies (7:44)  Slides (PPT) (PDF)

What literacies have you used in your life - work and personal - in the last week? Traditional, digital, media, financial, health, science, social? Are you competent in all of them or struggling in some? Have you used other literacies that were not listed? Note in your professional learning journal.

Read this brief article from ASCD: Dawn of the New Literacies

Then explore this Reading Rockets website: The New Literacies

Complete your new literacies learning journal by declaring your intention to use a new literacy for the first time, or better, or more intentionally in your classroom.